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Green Smoothies: Pros And Cons

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Green smoothies are becoming such a rage, and they are a fad that I applaud (for the most part).

Green smoothies are drinks made with green veggies.  The biggest advantage to using green smoothies is that most people don't eat enough green veggies, so beginning a new routine with green smoothies is usually a great step in the right direction.  Green veggies are some of the most health promoting foods around.

Ideally you would use a blender powerful enough that you can put in the whole food and it will all come out liquefied.  This way you get the whole goodness of whole food.  I strongly suggest that you do not use juicers, since they throw out the pulp and you no longer have a whole food.

Digestion is generally a problem associated with most disease states.  Pulverizing food in a blender can help with this for some people because the food is already broken down beyond what chewing would do.  Thus the food is easier to digest.  Most of us do not chew our food as well as we should.

Though having said that I would caution that it is still best to chew all food before swallowing.  Chewing does much more than just break food into smaller parts.  Chewing actually starts the digestive process using enzymes in the mouth.  Chewing also triggers the stomach to recognize that food is coming and to start preparing the acids and enzymes it needs for digestion.  Also chewing allows our taste buds to taste the food.  Taste is also an important part of eating.  It not only can tell us when something we put in our mouths is rotten, but can also help us to know when we have had enough food.  Many nutrients actually enter the blood stream directly from the mouth as well.

I would encourage you to at least minimally chew each mouth full of smoothie before swallowing.  You will get more goodness from it.

Breaking the veggies down also allows for the release of many of the phytonutrients and antioxidants they contain without the digestive system having to work so hard.  With these nutrients more easily available, the body can start its rebuilding and repair projects quicker and easier.

Another important thing made more useful and available is the soluble fiber from veggies.  This fiber is a major aid to digestion and nutrient absorption.  As well as helping with the clean up through bowel activity.  If you use a juicer, this is what you are throwing out with the pulp (Don't do it!)

Caution should be used in choosing green smoothie recipes.  Some call for added sugars (believe it or not) which greatly reduces the health benefits of the veggies.  Don't get caught in that trap.  Veggies and fruit (which are often mixed in with the veggies in green drinks) have plenty of natural sweeteners in them without adding any.

Some green smoothies are veggies only, while many are combinations of fruits and vegetables.  It is often recommended to eat fruits separately from vegetables in order to aid digestion.  However in a smoothie this is not really a problem.  The eating only one type of food at a time rule is over ridden because the two have been blended into one homogeneous food type so that the digestive tract will no longer be trying to deal with breaking down two different substances at once.

I personally very much enjoy a green smoothie made completely from veggies.  I like to spice it up with salsa, add some salt, and really like it with the addition of raw eggs and tomatoes.

However an all veggie smoothie can be a bit too strong of a taste for some people to handle right off the bat.  So adding in some fruit will sweeten it up and smooth it out.  Bananas work well for giving a smooth texture as well as adding sweetness.  Try some peaches, apples, and others to see what works well for you, and to add variety.

As for what kind of greens to use, that is up to you.  Use a variety to spice up your life, as well as avoiding the overload that can come from eating only one type of vegetable for days at a time.  I highly recommend spinach and kale as some of the healthiest basic veggies to include (one or the other) almost everyday.  But go ahead and mix it up from one day to the next.  Try different combinations to keep it fresh and interesting as well as healthy.  Carrots are another great addition.

Think about combinations that you would like in a salad,  and make a salad in a glass.  Do not, however, add salad dressings.  Most salad dressings are made with negative oils (and other additives) and contribute to health problems.  If you feel you need some oil, I strongly suggest that you only use virgin olive oil, or coconut oil.

Another word of caution: Smoothies are a great way to get veggies into your diet, but be sure to eat some fresh and steamed veggies on a plate sometimes too.  And don't overlook the importance of chewing.

Also remember that because the blender releases the nutrients from the food, it will lose nutritional value very rapidly.  So just make enough for one meal, and drink it as if sitting down to a meal.

In fact, do sit down at the table and enjoy it as a meal.  Thinking about what you are eating and enjoying it, actually helps food to digest better.  Have a meal time, even though it can be convenient to slurp on the go.  Slurping on the go is not nearly as healthy.  A stomach in a body at rest can work much better than in a body on the go.

I like my smoothies thick and sucked through a straw.  But you can add as much water as you like to make a consistency that is right for you.

The important thing is that whatever you have to do to get your greens, do it!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 January 2011 18:54
 

Why Are Teeth Important To Health?

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Everyone knows the basics of healthy teeth.  Brush and smile, right?

OK, there is a lot more to it than just that.  Many people have daily rituals for cleaning the teeth.  Some believe they must be brushed in a certain direction, or a certain number of strokes.  Some say floss must be used in specific ways.  Some say it isn't complete until you have used mouthwash.  But we are not going to get into all of that.  We are just going to talk about how the teeth affect health in the rest of the body (and vice-versa).

Hopefully we will cover some things that will help you to better understand and improve your health.

The mouth is the doorway to the body.  If the mouth is diseased, it tends to pass disease onto the rest of the body.  So we want to keep the mouth healthy. But can your mouth be diseased without you knowing about it?

One of the things to pay attention to is what kind of dental work you have had done, or have not had done that should be.  For instance, one of the major contributing causes to me being diagnosed with 4th stage cancer was that I had long term tooth decay that I was ignoring.  Long term disease in any part of the body can overwork the immune system and cause it to fail.  That's just common sense right?  But what if you just feel like you don't have the money to do all the dental work you fear you might need?  That's the point I was at.  Are there inexpensive or free ways to deal with dental infection?  Perhaps, but if you obviously need dental work for infected teeth, get it done.

But what about the dental work you have had done?

There is a fairly large movement these days to get amalgam fillings banned from dentistry and to get  them out of our mouths.  Amalgam fillings are made with mercury, and so the big concern is mercury poisoning.  Everyone knows that contact with too much mercury can cause health problems, and possibly even death.  So, this movement seems like common sense.

However, there are some things that should be pointed out about amalgam fillings, and some cautions about having them removed.

Studies show that people with amalgam fillings don't have any more mercury circulating in the body than those who do not.  On the other hand people with amalgam fillings do have more mercury in their saliva.  What does that mean?  While no one has explained why this is so, it appears that the human body has a very efficient way of dealing with and eliminating mercury vapors that are released from amalgam fillings in the mouth.  There are no conclusive studies to show that amalgam fillings actually cause harm once installed in the teeth.

However, there are dangers of mercury poisoning while working with the amalgams during insertion or extraction.  There have been major health problems from people swallowing amalgam, and/or inhaling the fumes, during dental procedures.

So, my advice would be to avoid having any amalgam put into your mouth, or taken out of your mouth.  While I understand the desire to get the amalgams removed out of your body, it isn't necessary in most cases.  If you do have the money and the desire to have amalgam fillings removed from your mouth, be sure to go to a dentist who specializes in doing such things.  Verify beforehand that they have all the right equipment and follow the proper procedures to make sure that you neither swallow amalgam, nor inhale the fumes, while the procedure is taking place.

Another area of concern in the mouth is root canals.  They are very unpleasant for starters, but it appears that they have another problem as well.

When the tooth is rotten to the core, there is more rotten than just the core.  However a root canal just drills out the core of the infected tooth.  Unfortunately there are many microscopic side channels throughout the tooth that do not get cleaned out in this procedure.  Therefore, the infection remains.  On the surface it would seem that this should not be a problem, because with the core of the tooth removed and filled-in solidly the infection shouldn't be able to grow since it is no longer being fed.

It turns out however that even though we generally think of teeth as solid, they are porous, just like any other bone in the body.  The tubules from a single adult root tooth, if they could be stretched out, would be about 3 miles long.  Bacteria live on in the tubules of the dentin of the teeth.  Infection from the teeth can actually migrate to other parts of the body and cause disease.

A fascinating set of experiments was done by a dentist who removed teeth that had previously had root canals from people who were suffering from various diseases.  He then cleaned those teeth as best he could and implanted them under the skin of rabbits.  Interestingly enough the people who had had the teeth removed got improved health over the next couple of months, but the rabbits usually got the same disease the person had had within a couple of days.  Everything from heart disease to arthritis was passed from the person to the rabbit through the infected tooth.

If you would like to learn more about that research read a book by Dr. George Meinig titled "Root Canal Cover-Up".  He is trying to find a way to clean out the tubules in the dentin that can be used in dental practice.

In the mean time there is a process that you can do yourself that seems to work quit well for eliminating the bacterial problems associated with the mouth.  See my article on Swishing.

Swishing is well worth the 20 minutes it takes each morning, besides you can do other things while you are swishing anyway, so no time lost.  No wonder Swishing helps so many people in so many different ways!

Swishing alone will probably not be sufficient to clean out all the tubules of your teeth.  But it seems pretty obvious that it at least cleans the outer surfaces and layers.  Since it is likely that the inner most infections will continue to migrate outward, I would recommend Swishing everyday!  Besides you will notice whiter teeth also. :-)

Now it is also important to note that the best hygiene for healthy teeth appears to be something that is not related to brushing, or flossing, or gargling, or even swishing.  (I'm not saying not to do those, just that there is one thing more important for the health of your teeth.)

Segments of society that have a diet consisting of almost entirely whole foods have no tooth decay.  As soon as processed sugars and processed flour are introduced into their diets, they develop tooth decay.

Those same societies have almost no degenerative diseases also.

Hmmmm... that seems like a pretty good hint.  (Maybe soda pop and cookies aren't a very good idea.)

So, I hope I have helped you to understand your teeth a little better today.

Have a great day, and SMILE!

Coach G.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 January 2011 13:46
 

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!

It's a great time to make a fresh start.

Here are my top picks for resolutions (goals) for health and fitness.

The One New Year Resolution You Must Make

and

Second Must-Make New Year Resolution

I could add others of course, but if you get those two, you will be way ahead of the game.

Stick to your new resolutions by telling other people and getting their cooperation to help you.

Also, use your imagination to picture how great you will look and feel when you have the results of keeping those resolutions come next Christmas time.

You can do it!  Decide today, and go for it!

Have a great year!

Coach G.

 


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